Considered a legend in the comics world, Yvan Delporte was a writer often credited with helping to usher in the Golden Age of Franco-Belgian comics. Best known for his work on Smurfs, Delporte also served as Editor-In-Chief for the comics magazine Spirou, helping to create the memorable comics character Gaston Lagaffe. Peyo created The Smurfs in his comic strip Johan And Peeweet. Peyo wrote over 8 extremely popular titles in Europe throughout his storied career. In 2008 the country of Belgium celebrated what would have been his 80th birthday by issuing a 5 Euro coin featuring his creation, The Smurfs.
Long before the Smurfs became a staple of Saturday morning cartoons, they first appeared in a Belgian comic in the late 1950s as supporting characters in the strip Johan and Peewit (Johan et Pirlouit). In this first adventure, Peewit, a young medieval court jester, stumbles upon a magic flute. Peewit loves all musical instruments, despite his music being horrendous, but his favorite is the magic flute, which emits such a bewitching tune that everyone who hears it starts dancing until they drop. While Peewit only uses the flute for pranks, villain Matthew Oilycreep steals the instrument for his own nefarious purposes. Peewit and his friend, Johan, set off in pursuit of Oilycreep, who's dancing villagers into a stupor and stealing their money. Wizard Master Homnibus recognizes the enchanted flute and sends the pair-via "hypo-kinesis"-to the Cursed Land populated with tiny blue people known as Smurfs. Peewit and Johan enlist the help of the Smurf leader, Papa Smurf, to take down Oilycreep and return the flute, a Smurf creation, back to its rightful owners. The Smurfs' timeless appeal, from their unique language to their strange blue hue, will certainly enchant a new generation, just in time for next summer's live action feature film. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.